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Singapore’s first driverless vehicle

August 19, 2013

ntu_driverless

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) scientists have developed Singapore’s first driverless shuttle transportation system.

The Energy Research Institute at NTU will test and optimize Induct’s :”NAVIA” electric shuttle to enable it to intermingle safely with traffic in Singapore.

NAVIA can carry eight passengers and has a maximum speed of 20.1 km/h.

The partnership will develop new charging technologies such as wireless induction and new supercapacitors for… read more

Assembling big structures out of small ultralight pieces

"Can you 3-D print an airplane?" question leads to major design breakthrough
August 19, 2013

Assemblies of the cellular composite material are seen from different perspectives, showing the repeating "cuboct" lattice structure, made from many identical flat cross-shaped pieces.<br />
PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNETH CHEUNG

MIT researchers have developed a lightweight structure whose tiny blocks can be snapped together much like the bricks of a child’s construction toy.

The new material, the researchers say, could revolutionize the assembly of airplanes, spacecraft, and even larger structures, such as dikes and levees.

The new approach to construction is described in a paper appearing in the journal Science, co-authored by postdoc Kenneth Cheung and… read more

A magnetless spin-memory device

Could allow for miniaturization of a memory bit down to a single nanoparticle
August 16, 2013

microscopy_device

Scientists at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Weizmann Institute of Science have developed a simple magnetization technology that eliminates the need for permanent magnets in memory devices and allows for fabricating inexpensive, silicon-compatible, high-density, universal memory-on-chip devices.

Current memory devices have significant drawbacks: dynamic RAM memory has to be refreshed periodically, static RAM data is lost when the power is off, flash memory lacks speed, and… read more

A ‘universal smart window’ for instant control of lighting and heat

August 16, 2013

Smart-window glass that can be switched to block heat and light (credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed a new material to make smart windows even smarter.

The material is a thin coating of nanocrystals embedded in glass that can dynamically modify sunlight as it passes through a window.

Unlike existing technologies, the coating provides selective control over visible light and heat-producing near-infrared (NIR) light independently, so windows can… read more

Nanoparticles reprogram immune cells to fight cancer

August 16, 2013

mitochondria-targeted NPs

Researchers at the University of Georgia are developing a new treatment technique that uses nanoparticles to reprogram immune cells so they are able to recognize and attack cancer.

However, most cancerous cells are able to avoid detection by the immune system because they so closely resemble normal cells.

That leaves the cancerous cells free to multiply and grow into life-threatening tumors while the body’s… read more

How neurons ‘decide’ to create axons or dendrites

Finding could help improve therapies for spinal injuries and neurodegenerative diseases
August 16, 2013

Nerve cells use their dendrites and axons to connect with each other and form neural networks. (Photo: Sara Parker)

University of Arizona scientists have discovered an unknown mechanism that establishes polarity in developing nerve cells: the length of a signaling molecule.

Understanding how nerve cells make connections is an important step in developing cures for nerve damage resulting from spinal cord injuries or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
They found that embryonic nerve cells manufacture a signaling enzyme called Atypical Protein Kinase C (aPKC)… read more

Watch International Mars Society Convention via live webcast

August 15, 2013

Mars

The Mars Society is hosting its 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention from August 15–18 at the University of Colorado in Boulder. All plenary talks are being broadcast live on the Internet via a special video webcast.

Convention program schedule (times listed are MDT).

Virus-derived particles target blood cancer

Sixty percent of mouse models of leukemia cured
August 15, 2013

Treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)-blast crisis patient samples with NRRPs. (a) Brightfield microscopy images of two CML-blast crisis patient samples treated with PBS or NRRPs.

Ottawa researchers have developed unique virus-derived particles that can kill human blood cancer cells in the laboratory and eradicate the disease in mice, with few side effects.

The study is published in Blood Cancer Journal (open access) by co-senior authors Drs. David Conrad and John Bell of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and the University of Ottawa (uOttawa).

Bell and his colleagues have… read more

Google brings Google Now info on your flights, reservations, etc. to Google Search

August 15, 2013

google_flight_status

Google is making info on your flights, reservations, appointments, and more available to you (privately) in Google Search if the info in your Gmail, Google Calendar, or Google+.

“Over the next several days, we’ll be rolling this out to all U.S., English-speaking users on desktop, tablet and smartphone, with voice search,” according to the Official Google Blog.

Google has been offering this kind of info in… read more

Electrical signatures of consciousness in the dying brain

Higher levels of brain activity than in waking state
August 15, 2013

(Credit: iStockphoto)

A University of Michigan animal study shows that shortly after clinical death, in which the heart stops beating and blood stops flowing to the brain, rats display brain activity patterns characteristic of conscious perception.

The “near-death experience” (NDE) reported by cardiac arrest survivors worldwide may be grounded in science, according to research at the University of Michigan Health System.

“This study, performed in… read more

Battery-free short-range wireless communication between devices

Device harvests and reflects energy from ambient TV and cellular transmissions
August 14, 2013

Researchers demonstrate how one payment card can transfer funds to another card by leveraging the existing wireless signals around them. Ambient RF signals are both the power source and the communication medium.

University of Washington engineers have created a new “ambient backscatter” wireless communication scheme that allows two devices to communicate with each other by reflecting ambient TV and cellular transmissions — batteries not required.

The researchers built small, battery-free devices with antennas that can detect, harness and reflect one of the ambient radio-frequency (RF) signals, which then is picked up by other similar devices.

“Recent work… read more

Bacterial evolution offers clues to tradeoffs in financial investments

August 14, 2013

BacteriaExeterIstainCompetingPopulation

Scientists have found that bacteria have the potential to teach valuable investment lessons.

The research, published in the journal Ecology Letters, takes advantage of the fact that bacteria, like humans, have limited resources and are constantly faced with investment decisions.

Bacteria though are successful with their investments and have colonized every inch of the surface of our planet.

The researchers, from the Universities of Exeterread more

A ‘molecular flashlight’ that illuminates brain tumors in mice

August 14, 2013

illuminates mouse medulloblastoma (credit: Sarah J. Moore et al./PNAS)

In a breakthrough that could have wide-ranging applications in molecular medicine, Stanford University researchers have created a bioengineered peptide that enables imaging of medulloblastomas, among the most devastating of malignant childhood brain tumors, in lab mice.

The researchers altered the amino acid sequence of a cystine knot peptide — or knottin — derived from the seeds of the squirting cucumber, a plant native to Europe, North Africa… read more

Scientists watch live brain-cell circuits fire

Promising new tool for mapping brain-cell activity
August 14, 2013

arclight-a

A new class of genetically engineered proteins called ArcLight can be used to watch electrical activity in individual brain cells in live brains, Yale University scientists have demonstrated.

These proteins may be a promising new tool for mapping brain-cell activity and for studying how neurological disorders disrupt normal neuron signaling.  Understanding brain cell activity is a high priority of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.

ArcLight… read more

Glowing green rabbits demonstrate effectiveness of genetic manipulation

August 14, 2013

green_glowing_rabbits

Using an active transgenesis technique founded by medical researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa, scientists in Turkey have produced glowing green rabbits when exposed to ultraviolet light.

The glowing effect is the result of a fluorescent protein from jellyfish DNA, which was injected into the mother rabbit’s embryo in the lab.

The altered embryos were re-inserted into the mother rabbit, and when the litter… read more

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